Turkey eyes record number of Russian tourists next year

BETÜL ALAKENT
ISTANBUL
Published

Following two years of stagnation in the aviation sector, Turkey is getting ready to break an all-time record in the number of Russian tourists coming to the country.

Turkey, which saw a record number with 4.8 million Russian tourists in 2014, received 4.5 million in the first 10 months of this year. This is expected to reach 5 million by the end of the year.

While this situation has strengthened expectations for 2018 in the aviation sector, Atlasglobal Chairman Murat Ersoy said a new record could be broken for Russia tourists, adding that they expect an increase of 15 percent to 20 percent.

Ersoy said they would increase their Russian tourist-oriented operations by 100 percent next year. "This year we transported 50,000 people from Antalya with 60 to 70 flights a week. In 2018, we aim to exceed 500,000 tourists with 150 to 160 flights a week," he said. Ersoy recalled that their efforts to lift visa requirements in Russia are also in progress, adding that they expect this problem to be solved in 2018.

Ersoy said they would focus on restoration and renovation investments next year. Noting that they have a slot problem at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, Ersoy said that they are getting ready for the new airport. "We will expand our operations with this airport. We continue our projects. ... We will pick the actual fruits of the new airport in 2020."

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